The Bliss of 3D Printing in the Field of Dentistry

3D printing Dental Technology

The Bliss of 3D Printing in the Field of Dentistry

Three dimensional technology is a hot cake in the dental world. Research and innovations are intrinsically directed towards making dental procedures comfortable and apt. The changes made in your oral cavity looks more and more natural with the advancement of dental technology. One such wing of development in this arena is 3D printing. Today, 3D is resorted to while manufacturing –

  • Tools to be used in dental procedures
  • Dental prosthetic
  • Modern restorations like bridges, crowns etc

How 3D helps the Dental Industry?

From the sole fact that the overall sale of 3D printers has leaped a big step over the last 2 to 3 years, we can imagine the importance of this technology. But what makes it so inevitable for the dental industry today? This additive manufacturing technology has boosted the practice of dentistry up to great levels. It is now possible even for the dental practitioners to oral scanning and some amount of computer aided designing by themselves. All that is required is a desktop 3D printer and 3D scanner or a connection with the online 3D printing service.

Pros of using 3D in dentistry

  • It aids in getting the exact shape and structural details of the tooth
  • Cost-effective, as it speeds up any procedure. The need for multiple visits to the dental office is nullified.
  • In case of tooth restorations or prosthetics, if the fit of the device is not proper, the 3D design needs to modified only. The entire procedure in your mouth does not require a repetition!

Dental procedures that utilize the 3D Technology

  • Night Guards and Aligners
  • Crowns
  • Surgical Guides
  • Models

The commonest application of the 3D technology today is in the transparent aligners. Night guards almost equally utilize this emerging technology. Aligners are alternative to braces and their USP happens to be their invisibility. The 3D PRINTING technology allows the manufacturing of the invisible aligners on the same day of your appointment itself! Night guards on the other hand, are devices that aid in hindering the ill habit of teeth grinding (bruxism) at night.

So how does the 3D printing work?

Your dentist or orthodontist uses the software to scan and generate a 3D model of your teeth. This model is then used in preparing the aligner. Since the 3D replication matches the specifications of your teeth, the aligners come perfectly custom fitted. The aligner is then adjusted to the patient’s teeth.For the manufacturing purpose, either of the two methods are used. The first is to print the model of the patient’s teeth. In this process, a vacuum is used to form a plastic sheet over the model which later becomes the aligner itself. Alternatively, your dentist could use the model of the patient’s teeth to create the aligner itself, which is then printed. This naturally requires a very high definition dental 3D printer with a special kind of resin.

In crowns…

Crowns are one of the best options for restorative dentistry. They are opted for when a missing or a badly damaged tooth (of which only a little portion remains) need to be replaced. The conventional process would require preparing a mould in order to capture the shape and size of your original tooth. It is then sent to the laboratory and the manufactured crowns takes almost a fortnight to arrive at your dental office! 3D printing makes the whole process incredibly simple and your crown is made in the office in less than 30 minutes using either a special resin or the CNC technology to carve out the crown from porcelain.

In surgeries…

Surgeries need to be highly precise. Dental 3D makes this precision possible.A 3D printed guide designed is an indispensable asset for the dentist as it exactly resembles the patients dental outlay. The patient’s mouth is simply scanned and a model aligner sort of thing is created with openings at the site exactly where the surgery is done. They can be printed on the same resin material as that of aligners and night guards.

To create models…

In case of surgical interventions, it is very crucial that things start off well from the very beginning. A model of the patient’s teeth on which the dentist is to perform is final surgical act, is of maximum aid to the surgeon.3D models are indeed a quick scan of the patient’s mouth and are truly easy to make. Nevertheless, they are powerful tools for a dentist as they enable them to cross check their work before it is surgically implanted into the mouth of the patient. Since they are not actually placed inside any mouth, they don’t require any indispensable technology or resin. This makes the affair pretty simple!

How does 3D printing benefit the dental industry

All these years, the dental offices had to rely on laboratories to get the crowns, implants and bridges done. Patients on the other hand had to wait for weeks before booking another appointment for getting the appliances fitted into their mouths! All those hassles have been done away with the advent of this bliss named 3D printing!

The list of beneficiaries of 3D printing in the dental world include:

Dentist, who save money: A dental laboratory is an additional cost for any dental practice. Even if implemented in-house, the initial cost of employing skilled staff to produce dental implants itself is a considerable investment. The expenses could reach a whopping $100,000 per year. The one-time cost of about $20,000 for a top-model 3D printer, seems quite affordable as compared to the former. It is also inclusive of the initial supply of materials.

Patients also save money: The high costs on part of the dental office, is obviously reflected in each patient’s bill. Using traditional technologies, a single crown can cost 80 percent more than that which uses the 3D technology.

Both dental and orthopedic services have sped up and are more accurate: Manually making models is highly time consuming as compared to 3D printing. Accuracy also improves as 3D printers convert digital images into physical objects. Both increased production and more accuracy lets the dental industry flourish at the end.

Dental 3D printing is a rapidly growing industry that is being readily adopted by dental offices everywhere. It promises speed and precision in dental work and are therefore not only dear to patients but also dentists too. The industry today is significantly inclusive of not only manufacturers but also researchers who are exploring new uses of 3D printing for the dental world.


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